MG needed fresh TV blood to avoid red ink


Media General (MG) brought in 75.4M in May, up 2.8% over the results from the same month in 2006. However, the upswing was due to the addition of four new NBC affiliates last summer. Take them out of the equation and the ink was red. The usual culprit, the political off-season, was blamed.

Without adding in the new acquisitions, the month was down 7.8%. Despite being the down side of the roller coaster on the television side, publishing was still the drag on the company's economy, decreasing 12.8%. Broadcast, adding in the new stations, rose 31.3%; without them, it dropped by a slight 1.9% margin. A triple low in Tampa was also cited as a particular problem as the Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV and website all experienced difficulties.

SmartMedia observation: Bottom line and many in TV take this as a lesson of old line not moving to keep up with the new times and we are not talking newspaper St. Pete Times. First, the Tampa Tribune has seen an upper management swinging door more than a slamming screen door in a Florida hurricane. The Trib is so thin that even the birds in a cage don't want it. It boils down to Content and Presentation at the Trib as that is their first of many issues. Their website is not consumer friendly. WFLA is an NBC affiliate and at the mercy of the networks programming but that is only one half of MG's problem as their content, as all TV owners have to take a lesson from Nexstar, – Cut your Retran deals and get your network and local programming HD content on all providers.